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Let me preface this post by saying it is going to be loaded with food pictures.
So some time back, a handful of good friends and I decided to get together over a weekend for non-stop eating and drinking. We looked at our busy schedules and decided on a date then we proceeded to search for suitable places to stay. Most hotels do not allow barbecues and there is almost nowhere else to do something like this except at either a camping or chalet facility in Singapore. In fact, when it comes to camping or chalet facilities in Singapore, there is a limited choice and demand is high with most chalets fully booked months in advance. After much to-ing and fro-ing, we finally found an available chalet on our choice dates at the Costa Sands Resort in Pasir Ris.
The term chalet stems from the Arpitan speaking part of the Switzerland and French Savoy and originally referred to the hut of a herder. Obviously, we are no hunters, just regular city folk looking to have fun with loads of feasting, and over the weekend that just past, that’s exactly what we did – at the Costa Sands Pasir Ris Resort. We took a Duplex Room which came with simple amenities such as two single beds (on the upper deck), two additional mattresses, one bathroom, a TV, a kettle, a fridge, a sink and air-conditioning on the upper floor.
This was the first time I organised a weekend barbie in a chalet with my friends. In fact, most times, whenever I was invited to a chalet, I almost never attended it because chalets are mostly located in areas that aren’t easily accessible unless one had transport. There were six of us and each one contributed almost S$150 each to cover the expenses for the chalet rental, food, drinks, snacks, utensils and other miscellaneous items. We stayed a total of three days and two nights.
Thanks to my friend, R, we got the food, drinks, additional chairs and what-not transported to the chalet easily.
It was a fabulous weekend with friends – chef KC, (he really is a chef by training and profession) who did most of the seafood prep and cooking, while R did all the meats and marinates. First, we had to get the fire going and even that, we learnt how to do the right way.
After the fire was started, it seemed we never stopped eating. We feasted for three days and two nights. First, we started with Shepherd’s Pie.
We brought live crabs and mussels to the chalet. We all watched chef KC prepare the seafood with finesse and skill. He made everything look so easy, including slaughtering the crabs for dinner.
For barbecue, we not only had crabs, and mussels but also two large Red Garoupas, prawns, sausages, pork fillets, lamb chops, rib eye steaks, chicken wings, a small selection of mushrooms and corn as well.
Watch chef KC cook the mussels over the barbecue fire here –
We also had salt-baked garoupa two nights in a row. Chef KC made an oven with a small fire and steamed the fish. Not only was the fish fresh, it was so tasty!
Then came the grilled prawns. The second night, we had them fried with sambal.
Sambal is an Asian sauce made from mixing chilli peppers, shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, sugar, lime juice, and vinegar together.
We also had some baked baby potatoes that chef KC seasoned with salt.
R did all the meats which he prepared and marinated. I don’t know what was in the marinade but the meats tasted fabulous.
The rest of us chipped in whenever we could. Mostly, I cleaned up after the boys. But, I also learnt how to barbecue, first-hand, under the watchful eye and close supervision of chef KC.
I had tons of fun. It was hot and humid, and barbecuing is no easy task. I was sweating buckets just trying the cook the veges over a small barbie that chef KC had started on the side for me, like a learning pit of sorts. Chef KC cooked up a storm for us over the two nights and I will always, always be grateful for all his efforts. We were the envy of all the people at neighbouring chalets. In fact, R’s marinated meats were so fabulous, I brought a few pieces home to share with my folks.
I am happy to have such great friends to share this experience with and I hope we will be able to do this again.